Dud: Briean Boddy-Calhoun
After a strong showing in the preseason, there was confidence that Briean Boddy-Calhoun would be a huge plus for the Browns defense, whether playing him in the slot or at safety. But Sunday was not Boddy-Calhoun’s best game since he has been in a Cleveland uniform.
Primarily playing in the slot, receivers were consistently beating Boddy-Calhoun, including some that turned into big gains.
Although the Steelers have one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL, Boddy-Calhoun seemed to be a liability playing in press-man coverage. Boddy-Calhoun excels when playing in zone coverage, which is why he plays well when Gregg Williams moves him back to safety.
With how much the Steelers put either Antonio Brown or JuJu Smith-Schuster in the slot, the Browns needed a big performance from Boddy-Calhoun on Sunday. But it almost looked like Ben Roethlisberger was trying to target Boddy-Calhoun and whoever he was covering in the slot.
As the Browns get ready to play the Saints, another potent passing offense, it will be an opportunity for Boddy-Calhoun to prove that he is still one of the better slot corners in the NFL. But he will need a big performance after what happened to him Sunday.